Expat voters have been disenfranchised by a lack of voting stations

Expat voters have been disenfranchised by a lack of voting stations

Boston – Hundreds of thousands of South Africans living abroad have been disenfranchised by a lack of voting stations in foreign countries, and no provision for postal ballots or electronic voting.

This is in contrast to 1994’s first democratic elections where South African embassies and consulates enabled voting and South Africans had the option of postal ballots.

In the US, ambassador Ebrahim Rasool claimed there were only 70 000 South Africans and dual nationals (those with citizenship of the US and South Africa), but this is widely considered to be an underestimate of the real number of South Africans living there.

The small state of Massachusetts alone is believed to have about 20 000 South Africans residents.

It is hard to go anywhere in this state and not meet a South African or those who do not recognise a South African accent because they have friends here. While a few South Africans travelled from here to New York to vote, most could not afford the air fare (about R2 000), trainfare (about R3 000) or eight-hour round trip by car.

Large South African populations in California and Florida – where many live because the sunny conditions are similar to South Africa’s – had no opportunity to vote unless they were prepared to travel 1 700km to Washington, DC. [….]

South Africa Today – South Africa News